|By Baron Colgate via Flickr|
Some of us have been around long enough to remember the old controversy over whether or not we could play movies in our facility. The debate revolved around licensing restrictions by the motion picture industry and whether or not a nursing home was considered the actual real home of those who lived there and watched the movies. Weird huh? Well, that debate is long dead and now- who would have guessed- we can pipe movies straight to the TV or computer. In fact, streaming video and online services are becoming so common place that they are out pacing traditional brick and mortar stores such as Blockbuster, which many pundits predict will shutter its doors this year. Sit back and think about how many video stores have closed in your area. Remember when you could rent videos from almost any store for $5.00 a night and that was an awesome deal!! Now you can get one from Red Box for $1.00! Times they are a changing.
|via Huffington Post|
If your facility is in the market for a large flat screen TV be sure to talk over the Internet connectivity options with the Associate at the store or do some online research of your own for the particular model of TV in which you are interested. Many TV manufacturers have partnerships with specific movie vendors, Internet service providers, or other device manufacturers. In other words, watching movies or TV shows through a gaming device is not the only option. More and more TVs have USB ports and other connectivity options as standard but again, be sure to thoroughly research the type of connection and to whom you are connecting and what it available through that connection. This post will focus on movies from Netflix via the Wii because so many facilities have a Wii. Plus there some other fun things to do with a Wii and while they may not necessarily be creative they do offer new experiences to our residents. That means cognitive stimulation and enrichment. But that topic will be for another day.
|via Retro Ways Blog|
Please don't think I'm proposing that watching a movie is a creative activity. I'm not a big fan of TV and am super picky about the movies I watch. HOWEVER--- there are plenty of creative programs that can be developed around watching a movie. We have an Epson Movie Mate that will project HUGE images so we have Drive-In movie night on occasion by shooting the movie onto the big blank wall in my activity room. Oh the reminiscing about drive-in movies!
There is a link to additional devices that you can use to connect to your account.
You'll notice that some are some Blu-Ray players, some are TVs with connectivity built in, some are mobile devices (can you imagine watching an entire movie on your iPhone- my eyes would fall out of my head!), plus you can use TiVo. But wait- there's more! The device-ready link in the FAQ section (click here) brings up seven categories of devices that you can use: gaming consoles, streaming players, Blu-Ray players, HDTV, DVRs, mobile devices, and home theater systems. Whew! Click any category and you'll get a boat-load of devices to which Netflix will connect. Check this list out to see if you already have one of these devices.
|By Karen via Flickr|
Action & Adventure
Anime & Animation
Children & Family
Faith & Spirituality
Gay & Lesbian
Music & Musicals
Sci-Fi & Fantasy
Sports & Fitness
If you click on any category, you will generally be shown 21 titles. Don't throw up your hands, as I initially did, and think that this is it for each category. Remember, you can search by movie title, TV show, actor, or director. So there are many more choices than what you are initially shown.
OK- let's talk money. The basic offer is unlimited instant TV shows and movies for $7.99. Did you see that word- "instant"? That means no DVDs. Many movies are only available on DVDs and some only on Blu-Ray. So if you think you will never want to have a disk sent to you this offer is a pretty good one. The rate plans vary from there. The very cheapest plan is one DVD out at a time and up to 2 hours of instant viewing a month for $4.99. Two hours of instant viewing is one movie a month.
For us, unlimited instant viewing and one DVD out at a time for $9.99/month is best. You can get up to 7 DVDs out at a time for $48.00/month if you think you're going to have movie marathon theme events every month. If you plan to view through a Blu-Ray, there is an additional $2.00/month fee. Keep that in mind when you're deciding how to connect to Netflix.
SO- you have decided to go with the Wii because you already have one. Perfect! BUT- there are some housekeeping things to do first.
|Via Film Muets|
Set up your Wii for Internet access. First you'll need to get that Wii connected to the Internet. The Wii website has great tutorials and instructions for connecting your console to the Internet. Click here to watch their 'how to" tutorial video. I'm going to be giving you lots of links so I hope I don't make this too confusing. For FAQs on using a wired connection, click here for the Wii support page or here for a video that shows the LAN Adapter. Please don't panic if you feel you are techy-impaired: Wii has excellent support pages with step by step video tutorials that require you to participate as you go through the tute (so you'll feel comfortable when you actually do this) and you can always hash it over with the guy at Radio Shack. Or a 5th grader. Just a note- the secret code will be on your router or you can contact your Internet provider.
Grab the browser. Once you have connected your console to the Internet you will need to download the Opera Browser. Sorry, no Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, or Firefox but Opera works fine.
To do this, from your main menu on Wii go to the Wii Shop Channel. The image above shows the Internet Channel already downloaded but you have to go in and download before it shows up. The instructions will say you need Wii Points but the Internet Channel is free so no worries.
Once you have downloaded Opera Browser, you can sign up for Netflix. There are two ways to do this. You can go back to Netflix on your computer or you can download Netflix through the Wii Shop Channel. Once that step is complete the Netflix channel will appear on your main menu and you just select Netflix using the remote.
|Via Coupon Moma|
When you start using Netflix, the more you watch the more suggestions you'll get on the main screen. And don't forget you can search for movies.
I know this was a long, hopefully not too confusing post. My apologies if I've left you bewildered. I can't imagine still running out every week to rent videos. This option is way cheaper and much more flexible. You might also find your staff more willing to set up movies for those times when there are no Activity staff working. There are many Wii Channels available and some of those channels can be activities. We'll take a look at that another time as well as some of the features that you may not have explored.
I would love to hear what you're doing with movies and instant viewing in your facilities. Leave a note by clicking "Comments" below.
|By Baron Colgate via Flickr|